A Capital win, a Capital loss

Men beat Ottawa; Leger hospitalized before loss to Carleton

Mitch Leger is fouled while scoring the tying basket in Saturday’s win over the Gee-Gees.
Mitch Leger is fouled while scoring the tying basket in Saturday’s win over the Gee-Gees.
Supplied photo by Miles Ryan Rowat

Without their leading scorer, the men’s basketball team lost to the Carleton Ravens 77-60. A day before, Mitch Leger score a last-second, game-winning basket to beat the seventh-ranked Ottawa Gee-Gees.

Leger was hospitalized on Saturday, before the game against Carleton, complaining of abdominal pain.

Head coach Rob Smart said the team consulted trainers, who were concerned Leger might have
appendicitis, before sending him to hospital. “[We sent him to the hospital] partly because he was in too much pain to play and partly because of the concerns of appendicitis,” assistant coach Duncan
Cowan said.

Cowan said that the hospital later confirmed that Leger did not have appendicitis and will make a
full recovery.

“As far as we know, he’ll be ready to go this weekend.” The loss to Carleton came off a last-second victory over the Ottawa Gee-Gees the night before. With 35 seconds left in the fourth quarter, the score was tied. Ottawa took possession of the ball and sank a basket with 9.8 seconds on the clock.

“With nine seconds left, we in-bounded it and ran a play,” Camerson Eby said. “Simon [Mitchell] penetrated and kicked to Baris [Ondul], who penetrated and made a no-look pass to Mitch, who hit a lay-up and was fouled.” With the lay-up, Leger had tied the game, and the foul shot gave him the opportunity to give the Gaels a lead. Leger sank the basket for a one-point lead, and with 0.5 seconds left on the clock, the Gee- Gees were unable to score.

Ranked 12th in the country going into the game against Ottawa, and with eight games left in the regular season, the Gaels now have a chance to crack the CIStop ten for the first time in Queen’s basketball’s recent history.

Saturday, the Gaels took on perennial champions the Carleton Ravens without Leger in the line-up.
The Gaels knew that beating the defending champions would be difficult without their leading scorer and rebounder, but the coaches said it didn’t really change their approach.

“I think from the perspective of the coaching staff, it didn’t change a lot. We’ve won other games without significant players,” Cowan said. “But Mitch is a big impact player because of his rebounding and his ability to stretch defences with his shooting ability.”

Eby agreed. “I think that as good as Mitch is, I think that we know that we can play ball without him,” Eby added. “It’s a big hole to fill, but the majority of the guys have been here for a long time, and we believed that we could play without him against Carleton.”

“We didn’t run our offence well or rebound well,” Eby said. “We definitely didn’t play very well.” Cowan also played down Leger’s absence. “The reason that we lost is because we didn’t play at a level that could compete with Carleton,” he said. “You kind of wonder whether Mitch would have made the difference, but the way we played as a team that night, I don’t think he would have made the difference between winning and losing.”

See Friday’s Journal for a profile of the men’s basketball team.

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